Revisiting the Edges of Oddness

Posted by on Jun 30, 2010 in Measurably Better | 6 Comments

I am an individual.

This is me . . . deal with it.

Popular sentiments both.  Good axioms to live by, as well, as long as that is what you are really doing.

I have found that on occasion – no – don’t let me lie – often  – when I hear  people using those phrases they are no declaring their individuality or celebrating their independent  and non conformist  brilliance – they are just justifying being a jerk.

You hear it on Divorce Court all of the time “She knew who I was when she married me.”  “hey that’s who I am.”

We are all individuals to be sure but we are forced to some extent to conform.  I would love to drive down the street and never stop.  But there are lights. And even when there is no police officer or opposing traffic I obey the light.  It is a compromise meant to allow us to live together.

While claiming one’s right to be an individual you cannot disregard the great benefits you receive from being one of many.  Every time you turn on a light, get a drink of water from the faucet or flush the toilet you reap the benefits of communal effort.  You couldn’t have built and manned a sewer on your own.

I was odd and uncooperative when I was young.  Had a whole lot of idiosyncrasies that I was unwilling to soften for the general public.  My thing was I didn’t want to be around other people so if I irritated you it was easy not to deal with me because I didn’t stick around. I was great for walking away from things.  Especially boyfriends.  I was making no compromises. Got dumped a lot and didn’t give a d&%^$# also walked away on whims.

Now, according to Duchess I am no less odd but much more socially adept.  (I know I seem to be an open book – based on my book and my actions here.)  But I keep some of my more glaring behaviors to myself.  Some of the things that I do, say and think, would give any reasonable person pause. Nothing bad just . . . odd.

Which leads me to my topic: Revisiting the Edges of Oddness. I was in the doctors office the other day and there was this woman with a very loud ring tone and a very loud voice.  It was beyond irritating.  And as I called her all manner of colorful names in my head I had a moment of clarity.  E, both my boys and Duchess are always saying I’m loud.  Or that I should try to keep my voice down in public.

My typical response:  “I am a passionate person.”  “I am being emphatic”  and the ever famous, clearly delusional, “I’m not loud!”

Jerk move.

I am going to put that on my list of things to fix.  It is a bad look.

Here’s the thing, most people just say ‘this is me and deal with it’ as if social courtesy or consideration for others’ feelings is somehow a sign of weakness or a requirement to conform to a pedantic and ordinary society unable to deal with the dynamics that are the real you.

Please. dws *

*that’s anabbreviation for Dripping with Sarcasm.

The more I revisit the edges of my oddness, dull the sharp cutting borders of my belligerence, sew up the frayed fringes of my behavior – the more freedom I have to be my most productive idiosyncratic, non conformist individual I can be.  I am trying to stop fighting the world and start flowing through it – like a river.

I think people in general look at what it is to be an individual all wrong.

It is not the “This is who I am  . . . deal with it” attitude that is so popular.

It is about having the ability and social intelligence to say: “This is who I am . . . you wanna go for a ride?  When we are done hopefully we will have both enjoyed one another learned something along the way”

What I am looking for is the freedom to be ridiculous on my own time and sufficient time to do it in.  Idiosyncratic Heaven.

But you have got to keep a handle on normal.  If you have too much ability to do what you want you have no way to see if you have steered too far off the road because you have no fixed object to give you your relative position.

That what happens to celebrities and the super rich so often.  Tiger Woods put it best – he had so much money, accolades, you name it – he said he fell victim to the mistaken impression that the rules did not apply to him.  That could cost him 50% of his fortune . . .

So from today forward I watching the volume Taking it down from a 10 to a 7.  Except , of course, when I am doing my job.

You guys have a good day.

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